One U.S. Marine K9 is being honored for her extreme bravery. German Shepard Lucca has served in at least 400 missions over the course of six years in Iraq and Afghanistan. After losing one of her front legs while sniffing out a roadside bomb in March 2012, the U.S. Marine bomb-sniffing dog is receiving a top honor for war animals.
Lucca has been awarded the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) Dickin Medal for her exceptional job in preserving human lives. The medal was given at the Wellington Barracks in London. Lucca is the first U.S. Marine Corps dog to receive the special medal.
Her handler at the time, Cpl. Juan Rodriguez, recalls the incident where Lucca lost her leg in an interview with The Telegraph, explaining, "The explosion was huge and I immediately feared the worst for Lucca. I ran to her and saw her struggling to get up. I picked her up and ran to the shelter of a nearby tree line, applied a tourniquet to her injured leg and called the medics to collect us."
Lucca recovered quickly and was up and walking in a matter of days. She is now retired and living with her new handler, Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Willingham, and his family in California.
Sgt. Willingham tells Fox News, "It is very humbling to be part of this entire process. I think more importantly is that Lucca's accomplishments are going to help bring awareness and recognition to all our military working dogs and their handlers."
Thank you for your service, Lucca. Enjoy retirement!